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Safe Natural Ways to Get Rid of Love Bugs!

Now that love bug season is upon us again in Florida, we thought we would re-share our series on love bugs! Here is part 2 originally published on February 22, 2013….

Last week, in honor of Valentine’s Day, we talked about love bugs! Unfortunately, they’re really not that lovable. They stick to your car and ruin its paint job, gather in the corners of your house and stink, and well, they’re just a pain!Lovebugs

So, what can you do about these annoying, but pretty much harmless insects?

Sit tight and read on…Good News Pest Solutions has a solution (in fact, several!) for you!  

Here are a few natural—yet effective—ways to get rid of lovebugs in your home…

  • Insect spray on your door: Spray your entire door with an all-natural insect spray. This will keep them off your door and potentially kill them as well.
  • Blow them away with a fan: Turn up the ceiling fan to keep them from flying inside the house.
  • Light some mosquito candles: Light a bunch of mosquito repellent candles inside your house or in your porch to drive them away.
  • Make your own insect spray: Did you know you can make your own insect spray? Yup, you can. Mix warm water with a citrus-scented detergent, like an orange or lemon dish soap. Add a splash of mouthwash to the mixture, and then shake it well. Put in spray bottle, and start spraying your plants and the walls of your house with it. Bugs will leave these areas alone. NOTE: This idea gets a lot of good feedback from our readers! Check out this comment for a more specific formula you can mix up.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner: Sucking them in with a vacuum cleaner is probably the easiest way to get rid of love bugs, and fun too! Use this in confined areas to control swarming and piling.
  • Always keep your lawn mowed: Love bug larvae grow in thatch. Thatch is that layer of living and dead organic matter that occurs between the green matter and the soil surface of your grass. So this means you need to cut your grass regularly to prevent it from growing long and producing too much thatch. When you mow, cut off only the top one-third of the grass to reduce possible breeding grounds for love bugs.

To get them off your car, try these ideas…

  • Cooking spray on your car: Use a thin layer of cooking spray on the front and side mirrors of your car before you drive. This will help make removing the insects much easier. After driving, immediately get a water hose and flush down the splattered insects from your car…the sooner you get them off, the better!
  • Wax your car: Some car waxes are specially formulated to reduce the effects of splattered insects. Wax your car right before the start of love bug season to reduce their deleterious effects.

Hope these ideas help to keep those amorous insects out of your life and your house! And if you have other bugs bugging you, contact us right away—we’d love to help! We use only the best organic products to eliminate bugs from your home. We’re proud to be green!

21 Comments

jeff 22-09-2013, 16:58

We have found that “Malathion” (you can buy it any hardware store), mixed with water and then usinjg a pump spray bottle (~ $15- $20) spray areas where the “lovebugs” seem to congregate.. also spray the yard, if possible, because the yard is where they hatch from (according to sources).. we did this and had a 1 yr reprieve.. now they are back and we are searching for better solutions. but at least the malathion water mix (read directions on bottle), does work to keep them away (they land and then immediately fly away). Also spray Raid or equivalent around all windows and doors especially around the bottom and/or any cracks where they may come in. One good way to get rid of them en masse (because they die on site) is to use a air blower to blow them off the porch or into a corner where they can more easily be vacuumed up. They are a pain.. but perhaps a yard sprayer service would solve it ? For cars, well they like white color best, so maybe a non-white car would be wise in florida. Or you can simply spray your car with lemon pledge or dollar store equivalent, we have done this for past 20 years. and never see love bugs on our cars. and because its really wax you don’t have to rub or work, just spray it on, and enjoy having your paint on your car last twice as long.

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Also Jeff 01-09-2016, 12:31

Maybe I’m adding things up here that are not at all relevant but I sprayed our entire house and yard with a lethal mix of Malathion a few days ago because of mosquitoes and suddenly we’re swarmed by lovebugs. I put a huge shop fan on the porch and it got worse. I turned the fan off and it got better. The one thing that did work was to start a smoky fire however it drove me away as well. I’m not sure, but to me right now it seems like Malathion and a fan just made things worse than before.

Good News Pest Solutions Team 01-09-2016, 12:47

Hi “Also Jeff,”

Sorry to hear you’re having trouble! At Good News Pest Solutions, we definitely do not advocate the use of Malathion to get rid of love bugs. It doesn’t take much poking around on our website to see that instead, we’re huge fans of green, natural, and “reduced risk” solutions for controlling pests of all kinds.

That said, it’s possible that you may be suffering from a bit of coincidental timing. The resurgence of love bugs regionally has literally just occurred within the last few days, so it may be that your efforts and the arrival of large quantities of love bugs may not have been entirely correlated. Instead, it may be an accident of the calendar.

Of course, every situation is different, so it would be impossible for us to know for sure about what’s going on at your house, but we’re glad to hear that you may be backing off the use of Malathion!

In our post, we talk about using a concoction of warm water mixed with a citrus-scented detergent (orange or lemon dish soap, for example) with a little mouthwash (probably a strong one like Listerine) and use that as a spray on surfaces of plants and even walls. I think you’ll find that while the love bugs may approach, they’re less likely to hang around.

Hope this helps! Thanks so much for the comment. Please keep us updated!

Also Jeff 01-09-2016, 12:56

Exactly. I think it’s partially about timing, but also I think the bugs like the cool air of the fan. I came out this morning and saw none. Turned on the fan, next thing I’m looking for how to get rid of a swarm. Maybe bad timing also. Not enough data. But trying lemon oil, citronella, and various others with no luck. They are nowhere else on the property, just on the porch around the fan. Thanks. Back to cleaning the fan.

Good News Pest Solutions Team 01-09-2016, 13:00

Wow! That’s an interesting tidbit about the fan. Too bad we humans like cool air, too!

Please keep us posted. Hope this works out for you!

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[…] I decided to go in search of some ways to at least strike some kind of blow against these pests and I found a great article out of Florida on a site called, “Good news Pest Solutions.” […]

J Miguez 24-04-2017, 15:57

My white back door was being swarmed by love bugs. I put a little avocado oil on a cotton ball and a few drops of Orange essential oil and lemon essential oil. My daughter in law rubbed it all over the back door. It worked great !

Rhonda 22-08-2017, 12:57

Use dryer sheet to wash bugs off car. Just wet car and rub with sheet, they come right off.

Laura 25-08-2017, 12:33

We tried the Ajax dish liquid with 100% real citrus extract (orange) and Listerine cool mint antiseptic in a spray bottle of water. The lovebugs won’t land. And those that do, don’t live long. About 3/4 water with almost equal amounts of dish liquid and the mouth wash. We went with more mouth wash than soap. Good luck. Hope it works for you

Diana Robinson 31-08-2017, 17:03

That citrus dish liquid and mouthwash really works!!!!

Good News Pest Solutions Team 31-08-2017, 17:05

Hi Diana! Glad to hear you had a good experience with it!

Good News Pest Solutions Team 31-08-2017, 17:07

Excellent, Laura! Thanks for the feedback!

Robert Roadie 01-09-2017, 16:32

We have never had love bugs in our yard before but apparently our new landscaping, out in last month, was infested with s7ugar ants which we killed with baits. Now, we find both our one year old pressure treated lumber front and side porches covered! They are on the outside house walls and doors. Nowhere else. I guess it is time for some chemical intervention. I am going with Triazinon as I already have several sprayers that they come in that I never used. However, does that citrus dish liquid mixture have a best recipe that has actual measurements? I would like to try that first.

Cindy Pickering 04-09-2017, 21:03

The citrus dish liquid and mouthwash worked! I was so excited after seeing the infestation of lovebugs on my front and back porch. Thank you for this tip!!

Jim Stinson 09-09-2017, 16:59

How much soap and how much mouthwash?

Not Jeff But Jeff Here 12-09-2017, 05:37

I am so glad to read these methods. One method that we have here in Louisiana is to just sit a bucket of water mixed with baby oil in a location away from doors and pathways. It draws them to it and instantly they are out of here. I did it earlier today with two buckets and literally within 10 minutes had over a hundred of them in each bucket.!

Good News Pest Solutions Team 12-09-2017, 13:00

Hey everyone! We just made it through Hurricane Irma here, so we’re playing catch-up on the comments. Thank you to EVERYONE who has left feedback!

One question that seems to keep coming up is: “How much dishwashing detergent and mouthwash should I use to keep the love bugs away?”

One of our readers, Laura, commented above:

About 3/4 water with almost equal amounts of dish liquid and the mouth wash. We went with more mouth wash than soap.

Using those measurements as a guideline, here’s a simple formula:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2-cup dishwashing liquid
  • 1/2-cup mouthwash

Mix it well! This would make 1 quart of the mixture. You can adjust for a larger or smaller batch. Hope this helps!

Lori 12-09-2017, 22:59

1/2 cup dishwashing liquid???
Wouldn’t that make the surface of what you’re spraying extremely soapy/sudsy/sticky?
My issue with the love bugs aren’t INSIDE my home (the odd one gets inside, though), it’s in my backyard right AT/AROUND my back door!!! There are hundreds of them during the day!
I’m an outside smoker, so I can’t go out back to smoke for the SHEETS of love bugs outside!!! This is the worst I’ve ever seen them here (Houston area – I’m assuming the amount of rain we got with Harvey has something to do with this).
Also – I have a small dog that goes outside with me, is this solution safe for him, like if it gets in the grass or on his paws?
What about cockroaches??? The big flying wood roaches…will this solution keep them away, too?
I’ve been using rubbing alcohol to spray them as a “natural” insect killer, but it doesn’t last long and dissipates really fast in the spray bottle in the heat here. (Try to remember to bring it inside with me, but forget sometimes).
Thank you for any info you can provide!!!

Jeff 13-09-2017, 15:40

Flying wood roaches. Not a complete cure but in the kitchen I keep a spray bottle with mostly water and a bit of peppermint and tea tree essential oils to wipe down the counter tops and cabinets with. It kills germs and smells great. A little bit of peppermint goes a long way. All I have to remember is to shake it up before use and keep in cabinet out of sun. I started doing this just for a clean smell but right after began noticing lots of dead wood roaches every morning. I now use this same mix to clean carpets and bathroom.

Heather 23-09-2017, 17:38

I sprayed the outside of my house with this (aka my glass door) and it left a residue that will not come off! Any ideas? It did keep the love bugs away though!

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